Posted by: Jamie Stamm | August 11, 2008

Mommy’s little helper gone out of control

I think DVR is one of the greatest inventions of all time.

This nifty little feature on my cable box has guaranteed that my children can demand – I mean watch – “Phineus and Ferb,” “Go, Diego Go!” and “Ninja Warrior” (I know that last one doesn’t quite fit, but my daughter has a thing for Japanese game shows) at any time of day, while I work in the kitchen, toss in a load of laundry or hunker down in front of the computer to write, look for jobs, pay bills or – let’s just go ahead and admit it – play word games.

That’s not to say that we’re not communicating as the kids watch their shows. There are plenty of requests for drinks and snacks and, of course, the fast forwarding of commercials, which I’ve been trying to teach my technology savvy 5-year-old to do herself (she already plays video games on the Wii and Xbox and can handle a mouse as well as any adult – I think she can figure out a remote).

Personally, I love the ability to zip past all the advertisements because I think it helps my kids from being exposed to shows that I don’t yet want them to watch, unhealthy cereals and snacks that I don’t want them to eat, and toys that we can’t afford.

But our use of DVR may have gotten out of control.

Yesterday, as my son and I watched some live Olympics coverage before his afternoon nap, the programming switched from badminton to a car commercial.

“Fast forward! Fast forward!” Anthony cried out.

“I can’t. This is live,” I tried to explain.

But he’s 2. He doesn’t know the difference between live television and that which has been taped. So he continued yelling, “Fast forward! Fast forward!” – with increasing intensity – for the duration of the commercials, which thankfully was brief.

So advertisers, this is your lucky day. I’m vowing to expose my kids to at least a few commercials each day, but only those for products and services that I deem appropriate. And don’t think that means I’m ready to let my 5-year-old watch “High School Musical” or that I’m going to run out and buy a box of Cocoa Puffs to serve for breakfast tomorrow.

I’m just making an effort to maintain my sanity.



  1. I always loved how Cera (when about 3) used to differentiate between recordings and live shows by always asking before a commercial “Is this alive?”

  2. You won’t buy cocoa puffs, the worlds most delicious cereal, the cereal your own mother eats? I’m bringing a box to the beach this week!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: